Tag Archives: Victims’ Rights

Will the next Canadian government get smarter about making a safe Canada safer?

In Canada, crimes of violence and against property still cause the equivalent of $83 billion in harm to victims – equivalent to 5% of GDP. We have the evidence based knowledge to cut that harm by 50% within 5-10 years by tackling the social causes of violence and providing real support and rights to crime victims.

This shift to victim centred, compassionate and evidence based policy requires the next Canadian government to invest in the following three actions costing $1.5 billion a year which is less than 1/10 of 1% of GDP. Reducing the number of victims significantly will also reduce the demand for police and jails and so enable reduction over time in taxes spent on reaction of $5 billion.

These actions will make Canada a beacon for smarter and compassionate crime control and achieve domestically the violence reduction targets of the UN´s sustainable development goals.

Will your government:

    1. establish a national crime reduction and victim assistance board and invest $500 million a year to work with provinces and cities to reduce significantly interpersonal violence and homicide in Canada by promoting the use of proven prevention solutions?

    2. invest $500 million to reduce violence against women and children, implement a national action plan on violence against women, and launch an annual Statistics Canada survey on intimate partner and sexual violence to measure the success of policies?

    3. invest $500 million to work with the Provinces to develop and implement national programs that meet international standards for assistance, reparation and rights for victims of crime and commit to annual Statistics Canada victimization surveys to measure the gap between the needs and services for victims of crime?

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Legislation for Victims Must Include Funding, Effective Pre-Crime Prevention, and Evaluation

A bill of rights for victims in 2013 must learn from the strengths, weaknesses and gaps of pioneering legislation and programs across the world. It must identify who will take specific actions to ensure services, reparation and justice for victims of crime as well as effective pre-crime prevention. It must be supported by funding and scientific evaluations of progress.

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European Union Adopts Law to Put Crime Victims First in 27 Countries! (post 31)

On October 4th, 2012, the European Union made history by adopting a new directive to establish minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime across 27 sovereign nations. The Directive will Advance Victim Rights for 500 Million People.

It will ensure that all victims of crime in Europe will have access to information and assistance and will be able to get these across national borders. Certain basic rights in criminal proceedings will be guaranteed and protection provided, particularly for women, children and vulnerable victims.

The standards are not just more political wishful thinking. They have teeth to get them implemented, including training, sharing of best practices, and data designed to evaluate whether victims needs are met.

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Smart Police Leadership will Enhance Response to Victims of Crime (post 29)

In the USA, 30% of persons, who were victims of crime that involved a weapon or injury, did not report the victimization to police in the period from 2006-2010. 65% of victims of sexual assault did not go to the police.

These statistics seriously question whether US law enforcement is doing enough to meet the needs of policing to have victims report. More importantly to me, these statistics suggest that much more could be done for policing to also meet the needs of victims.

Smart police leadership have the tools at hand to enhance their response to victims of crime. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has road tested a practical guide to enable police services to enhance their response to victims of crime without a huge investment of funds. Let´s use it.

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Feel-good crime policy bad for crime victims – remember smokers (post 27)

Unfortunately what ¨feels-good¨ to politicians may not be good for crime victims. It is systematic science that enabled our political leaders to save lives and improve the quality of life for potential smokers.

The UK Cabinet Office has produced an important ¨politician´s guide¨ to using behavioral science to ensure that policies are deliverying results. It calls for testing and learning. To help potential crime victims, we also need governments that invest in applying the knowledge.

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